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- JFk next to Ministry of Works
- Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
I have read the Attorney-Generalís press release about the criminal charges brought against me. She makes clear the charges, which I believe are entirely, obviously and transparently manufactured and bogus, were brought by the Police without reference to her and without legal advice from her office.
The Attorney General has stated...
Nassau, Bahamas - The officers and members of the Bahamas
Professional Photographers and Videographers Association (BPPVA) met
with Attorney General Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson and senior Ministry
officials at the office of the Attorney General on Monday, 11th March
2013. Pictured from left are Archie Nairn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry
of Legal Affairs and Attorney General Office; Deborah Fraser, Director
of Legal Affairs; Andy Adderley, BPPVA member; Kemuel Stubbs, BPPVA
President; Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of
Legal Affairs; Portia King, BPPVA Vice-President; Kenny Love
Nassau, Bahamas - Members of The Bahamas Christian Council pay a Courtesy Call on the Attorney General, Allyson Maynard-Gibson and senior members of the Attorney General's Office, East Hill Street, January 14th, 2013 ...
Nassau, The Bahamas -
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs the Hon. John Delaney
along with senior officials of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
entertained questions on the anti-crime Bill fielded by leaders of the
religious community during a meeting Wednesday.
Mr. Delaney explained
that the objective of the meeting was to answer questions with respect
to the anti crime package tabled in the House of Assembly last week
and for which Parliamentarians began debate yesterday. This is the second
meeting with religious leaders that the OAG has organised for the year...
Nassau, Bahamas -
Civil Society Bahamas, in keeping with its
current operational theme, "Re-education, Training and Development,"
recently engaged with the office of the Attorney General. Personnel from
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration were also present.
The purpose of the meeting was for Civil Society Bahamas to assist
further with the generation of the country's annual report (Universal
Periodic Review) to the United Nations on human rights issues.
the meeting, Senator the Honorable Allyson Maynard-Gibson and team
members facilitated an up-date of the representation made at the United
Nations. She thanked Civil Society Bahamas for its contribution to the
Like most Bahamians, I followed, with concern and increasing anger, the response of police as led by Commissioner Ellison Greenslade, the Attorney General's Office and the minister of immigration to the now infamous statements made by Anson Aly during the long overdue demolition of the Joe Farrington Road shantytown. The absence of the minister of national security on this deeply troubling matter was noted.
In order to give context to my comments which follow, it is important for Aly's words to be reproduced - as he said them. They follow in the vernacular: "Where dey want the people dem go? Dey want them homeless? Dey want dem on the streets hey? Ya see what I'm sayin'? People like dem does force people to do (expletive) bad tings on the streets... Like how I sayin', how I feelin' I ready to put the Colombian necktie on these niggers man. Whatever is the [indecipherable] that's how it go man.
"Dey gatta understand. It's more Haitian-Bahamians in this country than (expletive) Bahamians. Sorry, sorry for my language. You see what I sayin'? We ain' scared. Dey ain' want start somet'in' what dey ain' ga can finish, boy, you see?"
In the face of these remarks it was offensive to many citizens to hear the commissioner say words to the effect that he met with Aly and Aly showed remorse for his words and that, along with the fact that the Attorney General's Office said that he had not committed any offense, led to his release without being charged. How many persons in police custody have felt remorse and yet have been charged? And, for the benefit of those in the Attorney General's Office, Aly should have been charged with the following offenses:
(1) Threats of harm contrary to section 203 of the Penal Code.
(2) Causing public terror contrary to section 204 of the Penal Code.
(3) Obscene language contrary to section 208(2) of the Penal Code.
(4) Sedition contrary to section 396(1)(a) and (b) of the Penal Code.
The "dey" in Aly's statements could only be those who had signed the eviction notice - and they are therefore the virtual complainants. As the virtual complainants are undoubtedly public servants, they have a duty to assist the police and prosecution in making the case against Aly.
With respect to the commissioner indicating that the Attorney General's Office advised him that Aly had not committed an offense, Mr. Commissioner, you have the authority to proffer all of those charges except for the charge of sedition without any consultation with the Attorney General's Office.
As a renown criminal attorney stated during a private chat on this matter, police find any number of charges to put on a drunkard when that person has been abusive or mildly offensive to them - from obscene language to vagrancy. In this matter, Aly's threats and use of obscene language were recorded and blanked out during the evening news broadcast. It is absurd that police could not even come up with those two charges - which they so readily use against many Bahamian male, Over the Hill residents - when the evidence was recorded and broadcasted to the nation.
Fred Mitchell, we, the Bahamian people, allowed the authorities to deal with this matter. The authorities have failed us - again. We the people have lost confidence in those charged with enforcing the laws of this country and with keeping us safe. Your government and the current commissioner have a lot to do with the erosion of our confidence in law enforcement. The failure to close the illegal numbers houses after the referendum enriched the legacy of lawlessness which plagues our nation. Your government's administration has taught our citizens that we do not have to abide by the laws of this nation and indeed our lawlessness may even be rewarded by a sympathetic government legalizing our illegal activities.
As Aly left police custody, not surprisingly, he declared that he had not committed a crime when clearly, to all who listened to his words, he qualified for charges for several offenses, in my view. Yet again, the lesson learned by all of us is that there are no repercussions for our actions. The legacy of lawlessness marches on in our Bahamaland as your administration refuse to enforce our laws.
Madam Attorney General, you have six months from the commission of the offense to charge Aly with sedition. On that charge, the commissioner cannot move without you. We, the people, implore you to make it right. It is important that our people see our laws being enforced. It is important that those who live amongst us by way of our humanitarian spirit (or decades of slackness on the immigration issue) come to the quick understanding that such inciting, divisive statements suggesting a call to arms and violence against Bahamians will not be tolerated by the state. Issue the written instruction to charge Aly with sedition and let the court determine his guilt or innocence.
An attorney has argued that the legal profession and the public are being disadvantaged by a continuing court battle between a company hired to digitalize court records and the government, suggesting that the case should go to arbitration to avoid further delays.
The lawyer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it appears, based on court documents obtained by this newspaper, that politics may have led to the breakdown of the digitalization project. The attorney added that every effort should be taken to ensure that public access is given to any digitalized records that might exist.
The source's comments come after Guardian Business investigations into the state of the Supreme Court Registry's cause lists and files revealed that a company signed a contract to digitalize the records in 2011.
Benchmark Publishing Company Limited (BPC) was contracted to undertake the scanning, conversion and generation of a searchable database of court records including Supreme Court cause lists and judgments, but claims in a lawsuit that it was hampered in completing its work by a decision by the Registrar of the Supreme Court to order staff to stop providing it with court documents subsequent to July 2012. The contract was a continuation of earlier contracts which provided for it to complete the work in phases.
BPC sued the Attorney General's (AG) Office in late 2012 over alleged breach of contract, unpaid payments said to amount to $560,000 and damages in connection with the matter.
The AG's Office, in a counterclaim, asserted that BPC had not provided key deliverables under the contract. It called for damages for the government over the matter. BPC's president is Aaron "Kiki" Knowles, a close friend and advisor of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
The attorney said of the matter, which was revealed for the first time in Guardian Business yesterday: "You're holding everyone to ransom because you want to prosecute this guy because of his political background. It's so unconscionable if the public has already paid, with public money, for these records to be digitalized, and the records are there. Just let us see them."
They added that the case "might be a good thing to submit to arbitration."
"If you submit it to arbitration, you can get a quicker and cleaner result, and you can stop wasting public money pursuing a legal case which may or may not have any merit."
Last week, legal sources expressed concern over the state of the court records, suggesting that they are in a "shambles". Guardian Business investigations revealed that the Supreme Court cause lists are in a severely deteriorated state, with covers, indexes and even portions of the lists themselves missing or degraded.
This impinges upon attorneys' ability to use the cause lists to generate reliable opinions on title as part of the conveyancing process, given that the cause lists must be searched in order to determine if a property vendor has any liens against their property that should block a sale.
Yesterday, another attorney who handles conveyancing matters suggested that the cause lists and court documents, "paramount" to giving opinion on property title, may have even fallen victim of intentional interference by unscrupulous attorneys or members of the public.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, this attorney argued that by being available in a non-digitalized paper format with easy access by attorneys and other individuals, it is widely believed that this has allowed sections of the records to be intentionally made to go missing.
"It's available to the public, and there are some unscrupulous individuals out there. There are measures in place for people to supervise and oversee the possession of the files, but when documents are available, and any time your only record is a paper record, and that's available to the public, attorneys, and otherwise, there is an opportunity for them to be mishandled."
The source added: "The registry itself has always been susceptible to interference. It is without doubt that almost every law office has either heard or experienced first-hand where a page from a file is either not in the file, or a page from the cause list book is missing; so having an electronic system is something we could've benefited from years ago."
Guardian Business attempted to reach Supreme Court Registrar Donna Newton for comment. On the first occasion last week, Newton was said to be out of office, while on the second, yesterday, phone lines went unanswered at the registry.
Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez has argued that the government will "intensify" efforts to address the state of the court records later this year.
Nassau, Bahamas - Attorney General and
Minister of Legal Affairs Sen. the Hon. John Delaney welcomes Ellison
Greenslade Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and senior officers during
a courtesy call December 9, at the Office of the Attorney General, Post Office
Building. Pictured from left: Anthony Ferguson, Asst. Commissioner; Marco
Rolle, Under Secretary; Vinette Graham Allen, Director Public
Prosecutions; Minister Delaney; Commissioner Greenslade; and Paul Rolle,